These motorcycles offer the most bang for the buck when it comes to satisfying your lust for travel!
Riding long distances is generally a relaxing experience. But when you have a comfortable motorcycle that’s apt for munching miles, it makes the whole experience even better. At present, the Indian market is swamped with interesting choices with competitive prices. Here are our top picks:
Bajaj Pulsar RS 200: Rs 1.39 lakh
The Bajaj Pulsar RS200 features properly aggressive styling with numerous cuts and slashes on the bodywork. Even though it’s a faired motorcycle, its riding ergonomics isn’t as aggressive as you’d expect, thanks to the raised clip-on handlebars. The 199.5cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine produces 24.5PS of power and 18.6Nm of torque. However, the BS6-compliant version of this motor will make 24.47PS and is likely to have a similar torque figure as before.
It is mated to a 6-speed transmission which is quite tractable, and the engine offers healthy top-end grunt as well. The slightly sharp rake angle coupled with the slightly stiff suspension setup makes the bike fun to ride in the ghats. Moreover, the faired design helps in mitigating the wind blast out on the highway too. Bajaj has equipped a reasonably large 13-litre fuel tank too, which should ensure decent range.
In order to keep costs in check, Bajaj offers a single-channel ABS as standard in the RS200. Overall, the Bajaj Pulsar RS200 is a good budget-friendly choice if you have a thing for faired bikes. It is priced at Rs 1.39 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). But expect the BS6 version to cost a bit more than its older model.
Suzuki Gixxer SF 250: Rs 1.7 lakh
Priced at Rs 1.7 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Suzuki Gixxer SF 250 offers a great balance of performance and everyday usability. This motorcycle also gets raised clip-ons for a sporty yet neutral riding position. However, its windscreen is a tad too short to protect the rider properly from wind blasts.
Its 249cc single-cylinder engine comes with a unique oil cooling system which minimises the engine weight compared to conventional liquid-cooled engines. Suzuki has already unveiled the BS6-compliant version at the 2020 Auto Expo. The updated motor produces a healthy 26.5PS and 22.2Nm. It feels quite free-revving and offers a strong mid-range performance. It may not be frantically fast but it doesn’t feel out of breath at higher rpms either. The only downside is that the 12-litre fuel tank feels a tad small compared to its rivals.
2019 Bajaj Dominar 400: Rs 1.90 lakh
The 2019 iteration of the Dominar 400 gets a comprehensive set of changes to make it even more powerful and a better overall package than its predecessor. At Rs 1.90 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), it offers excellent value for money considering the fact that it comes with a modern liquid-cooled 40PS engine, power cruiser styling, all-LED lighting system, slipper clutch and even a dual-channel ABS. But the BS6 version is also on its way, which is likely to be launched in India soon. According to our sources, the BS6-compliant version is likely to be around Rs 2,000 more expensive than the BS4 version.
The riding position is upright with a slightly forward stance and the seat is wide and cushy enough to keep you comfortable over long hours on the saddle. What’s more, the engine is also powerful enough to let you sustain triple-digit speeds on the highway comfortably. Out on the highway, it returned an impressive 34kmpl, which coupled with the 13-litre fuel tank should ensure at least 300km range on a tankful.
Royal Enfield Himalayan: Rs 1.86 lakh
At Rs 1.86 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Royal Enfield Himalayan BS6 is one of the most affordable adventure bikes in India. Sure, the Hero XPulse 200 undercuts the Himalayan in terms of price but it’s the Himalayan that’s more highway-friendly. The motorcycle comes with pretty upright ergonomics and its windshield helps control wind blasts better too. Moreover, the riding stance is suitable for stand-up riding too, in case you get off the beaten path.
The motorcycle feels comfortable at 100-110kmph but beyond that, it feels a little out of breath. Even though the motor is now BS6-compliant, it has a similar power figure as before. Power has dropped by around 0.5PS, down to 24.31PS from 24.83PS. And while the torque output remains the same at 32Nm, the kerb weight has gone up by 5kg from 195kg to 199kg. Royal Enfield has equipped the bike with a 15-litre fuel tank which provides a reasonably long range too. But the best part is that its long-travel suspension offers a massive 200mm of travel up front and 180mm at the rear. This coupled with the 21-inch front and 17-inch rear spoke wheels wrapped with dual-purpose tyres make the bike an absolute hoot to ride off road. Royal Enfield offers dual-channel ABS as standard but expert riders will be disappointed to know that the ABS is not switchable.
Honda CBR250R: Rs 1.94 lakh
The Honda CBR250R might be a bit dated but it is still the benchmark tourer in the quarter-litre class. The 249.6cc liquid-cooled engine pushes out a modest 26.5PS but its refinement at high speeds is one of the best in class. This vibe-free motor coupled with the relaxed power delivery lets you cruise down the highway above 100kmph happily all day long. Though the riding position is slightly on the sporty side, it is still very comfortable for long distance riding.
To top things off, the motorcycle packs a decently large 13-litre fuel tank and comes with dual-channel ABS as standard too. The latest update which the motorcycle received apart from BS4-compliance is the addition of LED headlamps which should offer superior illumination. At Rs 1.94 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), it may be a bit expensive but is still one of the creamiest quarter-litre tourers out there in our market.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500: Rs 2.06 lakh
The Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 may not be under Rs 2 lakh but it deserves to be on this list as it is one of the most comfortable ones out there for highway riding. The ergonomics are properly laidback and the footpegs are forward-biased.
Its 499cc fuel injected mill makes 27.5PS of power and a massive 41.3Nm of torque. This motorcycle feels the most relaxed at speeds between 80-90kmph. However, the Thunderbird 500 makes up for the lack of performance with its impressive range thanks to the huge 20-litre fuel tank. This motorcycle also gets dual-channel ABS as standard. All in all, the Thunderbird is a nice choice if you want a quintessential cruiser.